Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag praised star striker Marcus Rashford for playing through the pain barrier in Saturday’s 2-1 victory against Manchester City.
Rashford’s Manchester derby looked to be over towards the end of the first half at Old Trafford when he went down holding his hip, only to receive lengthy treatment and play on until second half stoppage time.
After Jack Grealish had put City in front, Bruno Fernandes equalised for United, beating the offside Rashford to a Casemiro through ball and controversially but legally firing the hosts level.
Rashford completed the comeback in the 82nd minute when he tapped in an Alejandro Garnacho cross from close range.
Speaking to BT Sport post-match, Ten Hag hailed the spirit of his side before singling out Rashford for his efforts.
“I think first half we played very well. We defended very well, we were proactive, we created good opportunities in the breaks. I was really happy at half-time with that – we should have been 1-0 up, but wasn’t,” Ten Hag began.
“After half-time, it changed. We had to sub Anthony Martial, he had some complaints. That changes obviously the game. City came in again, we were not proactive anymore. Just before I wanted [to make a] change, they score.
“But the spirit in the team is so good, the belief is there, the game is 90 minutes and they can fight back. They keep believing and turn it around. So I’m really happy with that performance of the team.”
“Yeah I can see from the other side as well, but I think when you see the rules, [it was] a confusing moment for the backline of the opponent, but when you follow the rules he didn’t touch the ball. He was not interfering. It’s a goal because Bruno came from the back. But I can see from the other side as well.”
When asked about Rashford, Ten Hag replied: “Players have to be resilient. You get kicked in a game and obviously it happens, it hurts.
“You have to keep going, you have to do it to get the right result, to get the right performance. Fight and deal with that painful moment and even if it keeps being painful, you have to contribute. The game will go on. That’s what he did today and you see he got rewarded for it, the team got rewarded for it.
“In top football, you have to suffer and sacrifice for getting the right result and to win something.”